Reviewed by: Akhlaq Hussain
GOVINDA is back with his SAAJAN CHALE SASURAL heroines TABU and KARISMA KAPOOR in N. CHANDRA's SHIKARI.(you're in for a surprise if you were expecting the director to be DAVID DHAWAN). The film promises to be totally different from the Dhawan film the trio had done 4 years ago and going by the promos it lives upto that promise. The music is by Govinda's latest MUSIC DIRECTOR NO. 1 AADESH SHRIVASTAV. While his JORU KA GHULAM and KUNWARA weren't exactly setting the cash registers ringing in the music category, SHIKARI somewhat makes up for that in at least one or two numbers.
The album begins with the PUNJABI number CHUNRI UDE TO ANKH PHADKE with ABHIJEET and JASPINDER NARULA. It carries a foot-tapping beat and will surely be the "item" number that is needed for a GOVINDA film (incidentally it is rumoured to be picturized on RAVEENA-special appearace and GOVINDA). Abhijeet does a great job with the peppy number along with Jaspinder. Whether it becomes as popular as the "Chunri" number from last years BIWI NO. 1 remains to be seen.
Next we have KUMAR SANU crooning to BAHUT KHOOBSURAT GHAZAL. The song is quite a drastic change from the opening number but is none-the-less a decent track. Sanu does a great job with the vocals and carries the expression in his voice needed for such a song. It is nice to hear ChiChi having a slower and more decent number praising his heroine, unlike the WOH AYEE's and URMILA URMILAs in his last two films. If Shrivastav can come up with more numbers like Bahut Khoobsurat Ghazal then he will surely be in the TOP LEAGUE of music directors.
KUDI BADI HAI SONI SONI follows with SONU NIGAM doing full justice to this PUNJABI song. Shrivastav proves his roots as a purcussionist with the beats used in the song. Nigam has done many numbers like this so one knows that he will meet the standards needed to carry a fast, Punjabi number and of course he does once again.
The title track SHIKARI NE SHIKAR KIYA follows with ANURADHA PAUDWAL and UDIT NARAYAN. It is a typical Govinda number and after one listens to it, there is no doubt that it could have only been picturized on ChiChi. Anuradha does a good job but it is Narayan's liveliness that brings the song to life. Not to give the film away, but the wording to the song does reveal a certain aspect of the film relating to what happens to the heroine in the movie. Unfortunately the soundtrack goes downhill from here.
CHALEE CHALEE RI GORI is next with VINOD RATHOD and ALKA YAGNIK, a typical Govinda number with the heroine telling the hero to leave her alone. Rathod and Alka compliment each other greatly in the number but it doesn't have the same foot-tapping pace as the title track. The forward button on your audio deck might be used for the first time while listening to the soundtrack.
KUMAR SANU and ASHA BHOSLE follow in BHEJA HAI EK GULAB, a typical slow, romantic number. Sanu and Asha do an efficient job with the song but it somehow lacks the appeal of a good love-song.
The soundtrack ends with GORA PARESHAAN HAI, sung by AMIT KUMAR and POORNIMA. Barring the inane lyrics with the men vs. women theme, it is good to hear Amit again but songs like this will definitely not bring him back in the spotlight. Poornima also returns after a hiatus but as with Amit, she definitely won't gain anything from this song. Both singers do justice to the song but perhaps if they were given the title track also they would have gotten the recognition they have been looking for.
The music of SHIKARI is a mixed bag of slow and fast numbers, with at least one good song in each category, and these days that is usually all it takes for a hit album so at least in the music department the film does not disappoint. As for the film itself, it has been in the making for FOUR long years but does not look stale as the subject of the film has not been done in the recent past. Oddly enough, Govinda's films with SHRIVASTAV as music director released in reverse order of when he signed them with JORU KA GHULAM, KUNWARA and now SHIKARI all launched in 1999, 1997, and 1996 respectively. The film will also present GOVINDA in a totally different angle, a role with negative shades, something ChiChi has never done. Will the audience accept the COMEDIAN NO. 1 as VILLAIN NO. 1? By the end of August we will know.